A Loomis armored truck guard had unloaded bags of coins from the truck onto a dolly outside an east Windsor bank and was grabbing a bag with $30,000 in cash when he saw a masked man with an assault rifle trained on him only 15 or 20 feet away.
The guard’s first instinct was to run and take cover as he heard the masked man yell “stop!” or “halt!” and he began turning away as gunfire rang out at the shopping center busy on a July 12 afternoon, according to testimony given Friday during a preliminary hearing.
“He had it on his shoulder, aimed right at me,” said the guard, identified in court only by his first name, Glenn.
About four shots later, Glenn was bleeding on the ground and the two masked robbers were driving away with the cash, ditching one vehicle for another, evading authorities until the manhunt ended 20 miles away in Calistoga.
Sergey Gutsu, 24, of Antelope was arrested after he fired at a Calistoga police officer, a rookie just 10 months on the job, who stopped the gunfire by ramming a vehicle into Gutsu. The police officer was not shot.
Ivan Morales, 24, of Lakeport — who prosecutors said shot the Loomis guard with an AK-47-style rifle — ran when Gutsu was rammed by the officer. He was found hiding in a creekside thicket behind a Calistoga mobile home park after a four-hour law enforcement search.
Gutsu and Morales were charged with attempted murder and robbery for the Windsor case, and Gutsu is also facing an attempted murder charge for firing on the Calistoga officer. Sonoma County prosecutors took jurisdiction over the Napa County investigation.
Glenn said he was hospitalized for about one month with injuries to his arm and leg from at least three gunshots. Deputy District Attorney Chris Honigsberg said another bullet appeared to have struck the guard’s holstered pistol. Glenn described nerve damage in his left hand that limited its function, preventing him from making a fist, as well as the tissue damage in his left leg that made it hard to walk and sit still.
“If I don’t move my leg, the circulation gets screwed up,” he said.
Gutsu and Morales are high school friends from Arcadia in Southern California. After their July 12 arrest in Calistoga, they were quickly linked to robberies and violent crimes in other parts of California.
In a July 13 videotaped interview with Sonoma County detectives, Gutsu appears to confess to committing the Windsor robbery, shooting at the Calistoga cop as well as a carjacking near Sacramento and a homicide in the Los Angeles County community of San Dimas.
“I shot at the cop, he shot at the guard with the AK,” Gutsu said, implicating Morales, during the interview shown in court Friday.
Gutsu described carjacking the green and silver Suzuki Grand Vitara used in the Windsor robbery from an Antelope man playing Pokemon Go at a park several days before.
He apparently admits to shooting and killing a man at a Quizno’s sandwich shop in San Dimas. Pravin “Peter” Patel, 62, was gunned down June 2 during a robbery at his sandwich shop when he followed the suspect outside.